III. THE LANGUAGE OF THE SARMATIANS
3. The Sarmatian Dialects of the North Pontic Region
The Old Iranian group of phonemes *χš-,
too, has two different developments: 1. χš-
or χs, 2. š- or s-.
Old Iranian *χš- > χš.
see above: ~ Avestan χšaϑra- 'Herrschaft, Reich'.
Tanais, , No. 106 (189 A. D.): see above.
Tanais, , No. 261 (220 and 228 A. D.): see above.
Olbia. Latyshev, IOSPE I; 54: see above.
Olbia. Latyshev, IOSPE IV, 17: see the preceding.
Tanais, Latyshev, , No. 264 (beginning of 3rd cent. A. D.): ~ Old Iranian *χšaϑra-na- (Vasmer, op. cit., 45).
Olbia, IAK 18, 103 No. 4: ~ Old Iranian *χšaϑra- 'Herrschaft' + -ama- 'stark, kräftig' combine to form a compound the meaning of which is 'durch seine Herrschaft kräftig'.
10, 41 No. 35. This name, hitherto unexplained, may be regarded as the
equivalent of an Old Iranian word *χšauba-
'excitable', a present participle formed with the suffix -a- from the verb χšaub-
( ~ Avestan χšaob- 'in Aufregung geraten',
Bartholomae, AirWb. 542).
Old Iranian χš- > š-.
'King of the Saii' Olbia, Dittenberger, Syll. No. 495. This name was interpreted by Tomaschek (see Justi, op. cit., 279) as a compound consisting of equivalents of the Avestan words šaēta- 'Geld, Vermögen' and χvarənah- (Old Persian farnah-) 'Ruhm, Ruhmesglanz, Herrlichkeit, Hoheit, Majestät' (see Bartholomae, AirWb. 1704, 1870). This explanation is unimpeachable both from the semantic and the phonetic points of view. Hence the name must be read as šaita-farn and its meaning is 'der durch Vermögen Herrlichkeit besitzt'. The initial phoneme š- in the Avestan word šaēta- goes back to the group of phonemes χš- ( < *χšaita-) ; see Bartholomae, AirWb. 1704; Kuiper, ZII VIII, 245.
'Sarmatian tribe in the district
of Olbia', Olbia, Dittenberger, loc. cit. This people's name was compared
by Tomaschek, Thraker I, 99 with the Avestan word
'Herrscher, Fürst, König' (Bartholomae, AirWb., 550).
This interpretation was, however, called in question by Vasmer (op.
cit., 50), on the ground that we find the phoneme š- instead
of χš- in initial position. Under the
influence of Vasmer's arguments I myself rejected Tomaschek's explanation
and connected the name with
the Avestan word sāy-
'ungleichmäßig gefärbt, scheckig' (e. g. in the
proper name sāyuždrī-,
the real meaning of which is 'des weibliche Zugtiere scheckig sind'; see
Bartholomae, AirWb. 1569, 1572). In this case this people's name
would belong to the same type of names as Turkish bulaq, ala
yontlu, etc. meaning 'piebald, hav-
To p. 94 foll. Now I regard the following interpretations as correct: < *χšaita-farnah- and < *χšaya-.
ing pied horses' (see Folia Ethnographica I, 130). Although this
interpretation cannot be objected to either on phonetic or on semantic
grounds, and is still a possible alternative, we have to point out that
Tomaschek's explanation is by no means improbable — in fact, in some respects
it seems more likely. Vasmer's objection with regard to the initial phonemes
falls to the ground, since in the name of Saitapharnes, King of the Saii,
we find precisely the same correspondence of š- to the Old Iranian
initial group of phonemes χš- (the correctness
of the interpretation of the king's name can hardly be doubted). Thus we
are justified in comparing the people's name
with the Avestan word χšaya- 'Herrscher'
as well as its Modern Iranian equivalents, viz. Wakhi šai
'fat, rich' and Šhughni ṣ̌ayēn
'khans' (see Morgenstierne, Indo-Iranian Frontier Languages, II,
541), the phonemic forms of which show a perfect correspondence. Compared
with the former explanation, this interpretation of the people's name
is rendered more likely by the circumstance that the Saii —judging from
the data in the Protogenes-inscription — were probably the leading tribe
or ruling class in a tribal federation. In this respect they may be compared
with the leading or ruling tribes of other nomadic Iranian tribal federations
or nomadic empires, e. g. with the 'Royal' Scythians or the 'Royal'
Sarmatians, etc. whose names expressed precisely their outstanding social
position. Among the names of such 'royal' tribes we find e. g. the
people's names = χšayant-
= parvya- 'erster' (on these various points see Harmatta. ESlR
II, 29); the name = χšaya-
'Herrscher' fits well into this series. Thus, from the sociological angle,
this latter interpretation of the name of the Saii seems preferable to
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